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Ancelotti talks Mbappe, Vinicius, Guler, Lunin, new contract, January plans ahead of Real Madrid vs Mallorca

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will resume their 2023/24 campaign on Wednesday evening as they take on RCD Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Los Blancos‘ win against Deportivo Alaves before the mid-season break sent them to the top of the La Liga standings, although they are tied on points with second-placed Girona.

Real Madrid will be aiming to restart their season on a winning note and strengthen their grip at the top of the La Liga table.

Things will be made easier by the fact that a number of the injured players are back in training and will be available for selection tomorrow.

Ahead of the Mallorca clash, manager Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media, discussing the return of various injured players, his contract extension, and the transfer plans for this month, among other things.

“The desire is to start this part of the season well. We’ve had good news in the last training sessions: many players are coming back. We will try to play a good game to start the year well,” said Ancelotti to kick things off.

Ancelotti signed a new two-year contract with Real Madrid in December, committing his future to the club until 2026. Discussing his extension, the Italian said:

“Very happy with my renewal. It has been simple. There have been no problems or doubts. Very happy to continue for another two years as Real Madrid coach.”

Further elaborating on his new contract, Ancelotti added: “For me, the fact that the club wants to continue with me is valuable, not the fact that they announced it in the middle of the season.

“I have always said that I was in no hurry. The club has chosen to announce it now because they are happy with the work we are doing.”

There has been a lot of chatter about whether Real Madrid will sign a new centre-back in January following David Alaba’s ACL injury.

But confirming reports from earlier today, Ancelotti insisted that the Merengues have no plans to sign anyone this month.

“We are missing two very important centre-backs but we won’t sign in January. We have Nacho and Rüdiger, plus there are others who could fill that position,” he stated.

There has also been a lot of talk about Ancelotti choosing one of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Andriy Lunin as the first-choice goalkeeper for the rest of the season.

But, the manager insisted that he will continue to take that call game by game, saying: “I haven’t made the decision about the goalkeepers (Kepa or Lunin) because I have my doubts. Nor is it right for me to choose now for the rest of the season. I’ll take it game by game.”

However, he did insist that Lunin will start tomorrow as Kepa is out with flu.

Ancelotti also had some words of praise for Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, as he said: “Florentino Pérez maintains his motivation and love for this team. It is a love that is born and grows since he was a child. He has a fantastic track record. He has clear ideas about the future of the club, which is in very good hands.”

On the rumours that linked him to the Brazil job prior to his renewal, Ancelotti said: “The reality is that everyone knew that I had contact with Ednaldo (Brazil) and I thank him for that. He was very interested and wanted me to coach Brazil.

“But all this was pending my situation with Real Madrid. The contact existed but in the end, it went the way I wanted, which was to continue”.

Ancelotti was then asked about the Kylian Mbappe rumours, now that he is in the final six months of his contract at PSG.

“Mbappé to Real Madrid? I’m not going to touch this subject,” the Real Madrid boss said.

Ancelotti also confirmed that Dani Carvajal is fit again and will start tomorrow against Mallorca, but stated that he would take a call on Vinicius Jr. later.

“Carvajal will be a starter and I haven’t made up my mind about Vinicius. I’ll talk it over with the doctors and with him. In training he has shown he is very, very good,” he insisted.

On the possibility of Arda Guler making his debut tomorrow, he added: “Guler is important that he is well. He is getting back to his best and we should not be in a hurry with him. He is 18 years old and has all the time in the world to be with us. If it’s not tomorrow, it will be in the next game.”

Discussing the futures of players like Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Nacho, whose contracts expire this year, Ancelotti remarked:

“There are players who finish their contracts (Nacho, Modric, Kroos…) and they will decide what to do. We won’t have to touch many things because the team is defined, in a good direction and with young players who have a lot to contribute.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Esther Ebubenna Nwadike

    January 4, 2024 at 4:13 am

    Your writing is beautiful; succinct, detailed, and comprehensive.👍🏾

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Features

Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining

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Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:

Goalkeeper

Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Defence

Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.

Midfield

The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.

Attack

Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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